Brussels eyes EU sales tax

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Brussels eyes EU sales tax

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The European Commission on Wednesday called for an EU-wide sales tax to raise revenue for the 27-member bloc.

Diplomats at the EU’s executive arm want to increase the Union’s next seven-year budget by five percent, which begins in 2014.

The commission suggested a new EU-wide sales tax and extra levies on the financial sector to make the additional funds. Some EU states have argued the budget should be frozen as ordinary Europeans suffer during a time of fiscal austerity. Any changes to the way the EU raises revenue will need the approval of all 27 members. Negotiations are expected to extend into next year.

The European Union had a budget of 926 billion euros for the period 2007-2013. If approved, spending over the seven years from 2014 will rise to 972 billion euros.

Some Commission officials concede their radical plan to find funds will never be adopted as both Britain and Sweden oppose the plan.